Tina Rahimi stepped into the ring as the primary Muslim girl to field for Australia within the Commonwealth Games and stepped out a landmark medallist after a bravura, trailblazing efficiency.
Outpointing England’s house hope Sameenah Toussaint 5-0 of their featherweight quarter-final on Thursday, the pioneering Sydneysider demonstrated she’s not only a hanging position mannequin however one hell of a fighter too.
Fighting with a headguard over her hijab whereas in full make-up, Rahimi silenced the partisan crowd by pouring ahead and bullying her achieved opponent for 9 roughhouse minutes, profitable each spherical convincingly.
The 26-year-old from Bass Hill solely took up the game for health 4 years in the past whereas working as a make-up artist, but right here regarded like a hardened veteran regardless of her lack of worldwide expertise.
Rahimi made historical past for Australia as quickly as she received into the ring towards England’s Sameenah Toussaint – regardless of being racked by nerves forward of the bout
The Sydneysider received inside her taller opponent’s attain and landed heavy pictures on her option to a unanimous factors win
Racked with nerves earlier than the struggle after confessing to creating numerous journeys to the lavatory, the anxiousness did not present as she was bodily so imposing that Toussaint misplaced her stability and tumbled over twice as Rahimi made it a close-quarters rumble.
‘I felt like I used to be simply entering into there, swinging my arms, and never serious about what punches I used to be throwing. I wished to be aggressive, present I’m dominant, I did not wish to depart something to the judges. If I may have, I’d have gone in and knocked her out. I wished a stoppage,’ Rahimi informed the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘I used to be so nervous. Do you know the way many journeys I made to the lavatory? I knew she would have the house crowd, I knew everybody can be cheering for her. Once I walked out, all of the nerves left and I felt actually relaxed.
‘I’m completely satisfied proper now to be assured a medal, however not happy. I got here right here for the gold and I’m going to do every little thing in there to get that gold,’ she added, wanting ahead to Saturday’s semi-final towards Elizabeth Oshoba.
Prior to the bout, Rahimi revealed she needed to miss the Australian group’s coaching camp within the UK as a result of it was too robust to mix the coaching with observing the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The clear-cut victory means Rahimi is now assured of a bronze medal – however she needs gold and is trying to repeat the dose on Saturday towards Elizabeth Oshoba
‘You’re hungry however you must management your wishes with meals as a result of you’ll be able to’t eat an excessive amount of, particularly in the event you’ve received a comp.
‘It was robust as a result of I had worlds straight after Ramadan this 12 months, so I used to be coaching and making an attempt to chop weight. I used to be lacking out on every day occasions and controlling myself with all the nice meals. It was fairly robust.’
Earlier, heavyweight Eddie Coumi additionally ensured there might be 5 Australian boxers going house with medals – and he nearly did not must throw a punch in the entire Games to gather it.
His quarter-final with Anguilla’s Japheth Olton was at risk of being known as off as a result of the Caribbean boxer was sporting a pink gumshield.
A religious Muslim, the 26-year-old revealed she was compelled to overlook the Australian group’s UK coaching camp as a result of it was too arduous to mix coaching with observing Ramadan
A possible walkover would have left Coumi making the semis and incomes a assured bronze with out having had a single struggle in Birmingham.
‘I would not have taken it,’ reckoned Coumi. ‘I did not need it like that – I wished to struggle for it.’
He received his want after which made quick work of Olton, dominating together with his ramrod jab earlier than the referee stopped the struggle after seeing Coumi unleash a wince-inducing physique shot.
The drama had begun when the referee identified Olton’s pink mouthguard to officers and a debate ensued over whether or not he’d be allowed to struggle.
‘If the mouthguard’s pink, it could possibly masks the blood and the ref cannot see it. I believed they have been going to name it off,’ defined Coumi.
‘But they let it go and let him struggle and I used to be completely satisfied about that as a result of at the least I may get a struggle below my belt ultimately.’
The different Aussie in motion, Alex Winwood, felt ‘robbed inside’ after a controversial knockout defeat.
Australia’s Alex Winwood (in pink) was devastated after dominating Zambia’s Patrick Chinyemba within the first spherical of their struggle, solely to lose because of a controversial stoppage by the referee when he was hit by a proper hand within the second
Winwood, searching for revenge for an Olympic defeat by rangy Zambian Patrick Chinyemba, was floored by a pointy proper cross within the second spherical of his flyweight quarter-final.
Bouncing rapidly again to his ft able to resume a struggle he’d largely dominated within the opening spherical, the Perth-based fighter was left open-mouthed in astonishment when referee Maria Rizzardo known as a halt to the competition.
‘I really feel just a bit bit robbed of a possibility to show myself. I felt I used to be advantageous (after the knock down), the decision (from the referee) was a bit fast.
‘She’s made her thoughts up – that is what the referee’s there for – to guard us. It is what it’s …’
The different three Aussies in Saturday’s semis might be Kaye Scott (light-middleweight), Caitlin Parker (middleweight) and Callum Peters (middleweight).